JEFF POWELL: Difference between superstars Mayweather and Federer could not be greater

The difference between superstars Floyd Mayweather and Roger Federer could not be greater as they reach a watershed in their careers… one chases a final moment of glory in a Grand Slam, while the other tarnishes his legacy with a grand sham

  • Floyd Mayweather’s fight vs Logan Paul reportedly cleared one million PPV buys
  • The eight-round exhibition bout was the subject of much debate and criticism
  • Ex-British boxing champion Kirkland Laing has passed away at the age of 66
  • Laing will be best remembered for beating the great Roberto Duran in 1982 

Back in the old-fashioned days of tear-jerk romantic movies we used to be warned that 30 was a dangerous age.

Last weekend the needle on that dial moved forward by a decade as two sporting superstars reached a watershed in their careers.

Although both were aligned to the 40th parallel, the context and quality of their performances were tellingly different.

Floyd Mayweather contrived a farcical ‘exhibition’ boxing match against YouTuber Logan Paul

Floyd Mayweather contrived a farcical ‘exhibition’ boxing match against YouTuber Logan Paul

Roger Federer, just two months short of that notable birthday, claimed epic victory by a whisker at the French Open in as protracted, gruelling and debilitating a battle as any four-set tennis match can be.

Floyd Mayweather, four years the wrong side of 40, contrived a farcical ‘exhibition’ boxing match in which only the size of his near-billionaire bank balance was extended.

Federer survived a big-serving assault from 27-year-old German Dominik Koepfer so brutal that he promptly withdrew from putting himself through a quarter-final on the bone-jarring, stamina-sapping clay courts in Paris.

Mayweather indicated that he is unlikely to take part in another grand sham of this kind again

Mayweather indicated that he is unlikely to take part in another grand sham of this kind again

Mayweather indicated that he is unlikely to take part in another grand sham of this kind again 

Mayweather toyed with American Logan Paul, a 26-year-old artificial boxing invention of the celebrity internet, and then indicated that he is unlikely to take part in another grand sham of this kind again.

The Federer Express decided to protect his aching limbs in hope of a last Grand Slam glory on the more forgiving lawns of Wimbledon, his favourite surface, saying: ‘That focus may not be possible if I keep playing at Roland Garros.’

The focus of he who calls himself Money Mayweather was defined exactly by that nickname. Although a moderate turn out at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami was offset by one million projected pay-TV buys he has calculated that his failure to knock out Logan the Pretender would have a negative impact on any repeat event and said: ‘I’ve got to listen to what my body is telling me at my age now.’

Roger Federer withdrew from the French Open in a bid to mount a Wimbledon title challenge

Roger Federer withdrew from the French Open in a bid to mount a Wimbledon title challenge

Roger Federer withdrew from the French Open in a bid to mount a Wimbledon title challenge

Money’s financial game appears to be up, even though if judges had been deployed at ringside he would have won all the eight rounds of this charade by wide margins.

Much of the sporting world will be cheering for Federer in what could be his Last Hurrah, hoping that he has one final stroke of genius to give us.

Many in the realm of boxing will breathe a sigh of relief if Mayweather, unbeaten legend though he is, realises that by making an exhibition of himself he is tarnishing his own legacy as the best defensive pugilist of all time as well as the dignity of the sport which his made him so wealthy and just gives up. 

Sad end for former champion Kirkland Laing

One of the saddest cases of sporting genius destroying itself has ended in the premature death which always seemed inevitable.

Kirkland Laing drifted from pulling off one of the biggest shocks the prize-ring has witnessed…..into pulling women while in an oblivious fog of alcohol, drugs and partying.

Although Laing’s sensational conquest of the legendary Roberto Duran was not for a world title – which he never won – it was enshrined by Ring magazine in 1982 as the Upset Of The Year,

Former British and European champion Kirkland Laing has died at the age of 66

Former British and European champion Kirkland Laing has died at the age of 66

Former British and European champion Kirkland Laing has died at the age of 66

Richly though that accolade was deserved – as was his nom-de-plume The Gifted One – it was scant return on one of the most naturally skilled of all British boxers. As were his British and European welterweight titles.

Devilishly handsome as well as outrageously talented, Laing was as madly adored by the ladies as he was widely appreciated by the cognoscenti of the hardest game.

They all watched with dismay his descent into unnecessary defeats begotten by missed training, long disappearances, intermittent homelessness….and from a Hackney balcony which added debilitating injury to his failing health.

Thus potential greatness born in Jamaica and cherished but then lost in East London ended in a Yorkshire care home.

Kirkland Laing – gone in sixty-six years but not forgotten. 

Happily, Daniel Dubois is back from having his eye-socket fractured by Joe Joyce to knocking out huge opponents.

When it comes to future contention for world heavyweight titles, don’t write him off.

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